Although it’s a little late we’d like to wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. We’ve had a busy start to 2014 as we’re currently connecting our brand new biomass boiler to our older cottages meaning we’ve made a huge step of reducing our carbon footprint and we will soon wave goodbye to fossil fuels for good (well, apart from a little gas we use for the cookers). Whilst this work happens, we’re also refurbishing a few rooms in the cottages and we look forward to all the final touches being completed in early February.
January is also a busy month as we receive lots of enquiries and bookings from people who are planning their annual holidays. The summer months are already looking very busy for us and we’re looking forward to welcoming new and returning guests throughout the year.
Last summer brought us beautiful, hot sunny days and we are hoping for the same this year. For us, there is no better place to be in the world on a hot summers day than enjoying the great outdoors in North Norfolk. From coast to countryside and everything in between, there’s something for everyone. It’s the perfect destination for a staycation.
But, summer isn’t the only time to visit North Norfolk as the area is always bustling with activity. As a result, we’ve put together our A to Z of things to do and see in North Norfolk and hope you get to enjoy some, or all of them, when you visit.
Attractions – There is something for everyone to visit in North Norfolk. Stroll around large stately homes, learn something new in the museums and view local artists work in the galleries. Nature lovers will enjoy the big choice of nature reserves nearby and families will be spoilt for choice with the family friendly attractions.
Beach Huts – If you fancy having a base by the sea then there’s not better way to do this than by hiring a traditional beach hut. Wells-next-the-Sea and Old Hunstanton both have beach huts that are available for daily and weekly hire.
Crabbing – This is a fun and cheap way of entertaining the children for a few hours and can become quite addictive! Pick yourself up a crabbing kit, which includes a crabbing line, bucket and some bait (bacon always works a treat!) and head to Wells Harbour Quay, Blakeney Quay or Burnham Overy Staithe to see how many crabs you can catch.
Dungeons – Norwich Castle is one of the city’s most famous landmarks and was built by the Normans as a palace over 900 years ago. It is full of interesting exhibitions and historic treasures that the whole family will enjoy discovering. For the fearless and sceptical people out there, how about a tour of the famously haunted dungeons… you may just find yourself covered in goosebumps whilst you’re down there!
Exercise – For those of you who enjoy an active life, there are plenty of ways to keep fit and get some exercise when you’re away without it feeling like it’s a chore. Our heated indoor swimming pool and tennis courts are available for all of our guests to use when staying in our cottages, we can also help organise cycle hire so you can pedal around the countryside and enjoy the beautiful views. The coast is a popular place to enjoy an invigorating walk or run and being by the water also means there are plenty of watersports to enjoy too.
Farmers Markets – Stock up on delicious seasonal produce at one of our many farmers markets. There are monthly markets in Fakenham, Holt, Blakeney and at Creake Abbey in North Creake. The area also has plenty of farm shops and other fantastic food outlets that sell locally produced food and drink, full details can be found here.
Grey and Common Seals – Blakeney point is famous for its huge seal colonies of both Grey and Common seals. During the winter months the Grey seals have their pups giving visitors the opportunity to see little white fluffy pups braving the elements whilst the common seals have their young between June – August. There are several boat trips available to book on a daily basis but we recommend you book to avoid disappointment. We think the seal trips are a fantastic opportunity to get up close to some of the UK’s favourite wildlife residents and an experience we highly recommend to all of our visitors.
Holkham – Holkham is a thriving 25,000-acre agricultural estate that has been in the same family since the 1750’s. Visitors can tour the house and enjoy vast parts of the land including the beach and nature reserve. There is also a deer park, museum, pub and shops to visit. Holkham beach has recently been voted the UK’s best beach and we are very proud to have such a wonderful place on our doorstep to enjoy.
Ice Cream – No seaside holiday is complete without enjoying an ice cream on the seafront. What’s your favourite? A 99 with a flake, chocolate, strawberry, rum and raisin, raspberry ripple, butterscotch… The list goes on and on!
Just Relax – You’re on holiday, so it’s time to relax and take it easy. For a few days, switch off that alarm clock, don’t worry about work, step away from daily routine and just enjoy yourself.
Kite – No childhood should go without the experience of flying a kite. Such a simple thing can create hours of fun. You can fly a kite on the beach all year round so long as you have a breeze! For the adrenaline junkies who want a bit more of an adventure, why not try a kite surfing lesson, which are available to book at Hunstanton beach.
Lavender – Heacham is home to the world famous Norfolk Lavender gardens. Here you can stroll through scented gardens, purchase lavender gifts and even try a few lavender cakes and other delicious treats in the onsite restaurant. There is also an animal farm and outdoor play area for children to enjoy too.
Market Towns – There are a number of market towns dotted around North Norfolk and they’re brimming with boutique shops, local delicatessens, bakeries, art galleries and teashops. Fakenham is our nearest market town, but nearby there’s Burnham Market, Wells-Next-The-Sea and Holt which are all very unique and definitely worth a visit.
Nature Reserves – You are completely spoilt for choice when it comes to exploring our nature reserves and discovering the Great British wildlife. All year round there is something going on. During the colder months the reserves become home to several winter migrants, in spring we enjoy the spectacle of new life and summer brings plenty of visitors including terns and avocets to the area. Sculthorpe Moor is very close to our cottages, so you don’t need to travel far to enjoy the wildlife. Other reserves in the area are Pensthorpe, Titchwell Marsh, Cley Marshes, Blakeney National Nature Reserve & Scolt Head Island.
Orchard – Drove Orchards have over 40 acres of apple, pear and plum trees, and boast over 150 varieties of different apple. In addition to this, they also grow Strawberries, Raspberries, Gooseberries and much more. The beauty of Drove Orchards is that you can turn up and pick your own seasonal fruit to enjoy during your stay. The shop also stocks their own delicious award winning apple juice along with a great collection of pickles, chutneys, local cheeses and other delicious local produce too, perfect to stock up on and take home to enjoy.
Paddling – For a refreshing cool down on a hot summers day, take a paddle in the sea. Or for the hardy, dip your toes in the icy waters on a cold winter’s day to see how brave you are!
Queen – Sandringham House is the country retreat for the Queen and several members of the Royal Family, who famously spend their Christmas on the Sandringham estate. The house, grounds and museum are open to the public to visit from April to November and the visitor centre and shops are open throughout the year.
Racecourse – A day at the races is always fun and Fakenham Racecourse is a stones throw away from our cottages. Race meetings are on a monthly basis and unlike some other places it offers a casual atmosphere and is very family friendly – Children under 16 go free!
Seasons – Whatever time of the year, North Norfolk offers plenty for visitors. Winter brings lots of Christmas events, perfect for Christmas shopping, plus you can enjoy brisk, refreshing walks on empty beaches and warm up in cosy pubs that serve up hearty meals. In spring there’s lots of activity on the reserves with nesting birds eagerly awaiting the arrival of their chicks. During Easter there are lots of family events including eggciting egg hunts! In summer you can pack up picnics and spend your days at the beach or take day trips around the area visiting attractions and exploring nearby towns. As the nights begin to draw in during autumn, we look forward eating lots of local seasonal food and have fun celebrating Halloween and Bonfire night.
Trains – Take a vintage steam train ride along the coast with North Norfolk Railways. The Poppy Line is a scenic route that runs from Sheringham to Holt and is a memorable day out for all ages. Wells and Walsingham Light Railway also runs through the North Norfolk countryside and offers a great adventure for the whole family.
Umbrellas – The east is the renowned for being the driest region in the UK making it a great place to spend your holidays. But, it if rains during your stay don’t let it put you off exploring the area, just take an umbrella with you and remember, it never rains in a pub!
Victorian Cromer – Cromer is on the very edge of the North Norfolk coast and is famous for it’s crabs. The seafront is full of beautiful Victorian buildings and whilst you there you should treat yourself to a tasty portion of fish and chips and take a stroll along the pier.
Watersports – You can enjoy a wide range of watersports including windsurfing, sailing, kiting, canoeing and kayaking around our beautiful North Norfolk coastline. Courses and lessons are available for anyone who’s wishing to try something new.
Xtreeme Adventure – Well, ok, so it’s called Extreeme Adventure so we had to cheat a little! This high ropes adventure course is situated in some of the tallest trees in the East of England. For families who like heights this is an adrenaline packed day out where you can conquer a course that’s situated 20ft up in the trees (or 40ft for the more adventurous!) Children under the age of 10 are not able to do the course, but there is a woodland walk and quiz plus an under 10’s play area available. Extreeme Adventure is situated 8 miles south of Fakenham and offers an exciting day for those who have a taste for adventure.
Yachting – Our coastline is a great place to enjoy sailing whether you’re an experienced sailor or a novice wanting to give it a try. There are a number of places around where you can hire boats and take tuition. For an enjoyable day out a little further afield, there’s also the beautiful Norfolk Broads to discover either by boat or on foot.
Zzzzzzz – the lovely sound of exhausted children who are tucked up in bed after an adventurous day!